There is a minefield of different manufacturers and ranges of Bathroom brassware (taps basically) and many, especially in the vast array of period style brassware available, look pretty much the same as another and yet quality wise they could not be more different. On taps that have a conventional valve, which is the traditional type that requires several full turns between off and full on, you will find that cheaper taps have little or no seating to re-seat when necessary, washers may not be standard and bath taps or mixers will possibly have ½” instead of ¾” valves, which will not have a high flow rate, resulting in poor showers and slow filling baths. Beware of bath taps and mixers that say they are ¾”, you will often find that the connections underneath are indeed ¾”, but the valves inside are only ½”, this particularly applies to a lot of the cheaper imported ranges. The better type to go for these days are taps with ceramic disc valves. These have no seatings to wear out and no washers to replace and they require only a quarter, or sometimes half turn from off to full on. These are very resilient in hardwater areas because the ceramic discs grind off any lime-scale deposits and the action of turning them on and off ensures that they are kept polished to mirror smooth perfection. The pitfalls with ceramic disc valves are that, again, many bath fittings have only ½” valves and that, when one does need replacing, you have to replace the whole valve and there is no such thing as a standard one. This is why it is best to buy one of a recognized manufacturer who will be able to supply parts in the future, rather than the one that the local
D.I.Y. store are promoting this month. The valves can be expensive (from around £18.00 each), but you would be unlucky to have to replace one anyway. Some high quality brassware ranges from the continent, especially Germany, are designed for high pressure systems only and therefore have to be supplied by a mains pressure system (a Combination Boiler or Un-vented system, see showers section for more information), or pumped by your power shower pump, which gives an agreeable aerated flow from the basin and bath mixers.
DESIGN TIP: Many tap ranges have matching shower systems and accessories for that full co-ordinated look.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE PICTURES ONLY REPRESENT A SMALL PART OF OUR RANGE.